Woodston

Woodston

The Biography of An English Farm – The Sunday Times Bestseller

Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'Lewis-Stempel is one of our finest nature writers ... He writes with delicate observation and authority, giving us in Woodston a book teeming with fascinating details, anecdotes and penetrating insights into the real cost of our denatured countryside.' - Sunday Times

'The English countryside is 'a work of human art, done by the many and the nameless' and John Lewis-Stempel wanted to celebrate it. He has succeeded admirably.' - Daily Mail
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In the beginning was the earth...

From the Paleozoic volcanoes that stained its soil, to the Saxons who occupied it, to the Tudors who traded its wool, to the Land Girls of wartime, John Lewis-Stempel charts a sweeping, lyrical history of Woodston: the quintessential English farm.

With his combined skills of farmer and historian, Lewis-Stempel digs deep into written records, the memories of relatives, and the landscape itself to celebrate the farmland his family have been bound to for millennia. Through Woodston's life, we feel the joyful arrival of oxen ploughing; we see pigs rootling in the medieval apple orchard; and take in the sharp, drowsy fragrance of hops on Edwardian air. He draws upon his wealth of historical knowledge and his innate sense of place to create a passionate, fascinating biography of farming in England.

Woodston not only reminds us of the rural riches buried beneath our feet but of our shared roots that tie us to the land.

Reviews

  • One of Britain's finest nature writers...Lewis-Stempel maps an intriguing journey through his ancestral farmland.
    Radio Times

About the author

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is a farmer and 'Britain's finest living nature writer' (The Times). His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers Woodston, The Running Hare and The Wood. He is the only person to have won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing twice, with Meadowland and Where Poppies Blow. In 2016 he was named Magazine Columnist of the Year for his column in Country Life. He farms cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Traditionally.
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